This summer discover the beautiful gardens around the regions that make up Shakespeare’s England. Take our photo tour to find out more…
Shakespeare’s England is a charming summer destination made up of the four areas of Stratford-upon-Avon, Royal Leamington Spa, Kenilworth and Warwick, which are full of country homes, historic castles and stunning gardens. Here are some of our favourites…
Mill Dene Garden is often described as one of the most interesting and romantic gardens of the Cotswolds. It was set up by a couple, the Dares, who quite honestly didn’t know much about gardening. Their lack of horticultural prowess has in fact produced a surprising result. Mill Dene is an enchanting garden filled with streams, a mill, a grotto and a fruit garden.
This grand family home in Kenilworth is the ancestral seat of the Leigh family and is set in stunning parklands that are a joy to discover. The house has many connections with Queen Victoria, Prince Charles and Jane Austen and its history as a former monastery is well worth exploring. The house dates back to 1154 when it began as a Cistercian monastic house. In 1809, the house’s owner at the time Reverend Thomas Leigh (cousin of Jane Austen) invited Humphry Reptin, who was a respected landscape gardener of the time, to redesign the abbey’s grounds. Repton created one of his famous ‘Red Books’ in which he made a series of watercolour paintings to illustrate how he saw the garden coming together.
Coughton Court is another lovely place to discover the gardens of Shakespeare’s England. This country home in Alcester boasts relatively new gardens – they were developed in 1991 – that have won lots of prizes since. There are many gardens to discover at Coughton: the sunken gardens, the walled garden, the vegetable garden and the early summer garden are just a few of them.
The bucolic thatched cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a lovely place for a picnic in the summer. The house itself is bursting with history as the childhood home of William Shakespeare’s sweetheart. The house is set in nine acres of grounds that showcase traditional Tudor planting and giant willow sculptures.
Ragley Gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon is the family home of the 9th Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford and their children. The house itself is a charming country home but the 10 hectares of gardens are a horticultural delight. They were designed by Capability Brown during the 18th century and later changed by gardener Robert Marnock in the 19th century to incorporate a Victorian flower garden and pleasure grounds. The Woodland Walk and the Palladian House are worth checking out while you’re there too.
If you want a historic castle, Kenilworth Castle is worth a visit. The Elizabethan Garden was designed for Queen Elizabeth I when she visited the castle and they feature a beautiful 18-foot-high fountain made from Carrara marble, magnificent arbours and an aviary. The garden was lost for over 400 years but was recreated by English Heritage in 2009.
All these lovely gardens are hosting a variety of events throughout the summer. To find out more visit the website shakespeares-england.co.uk.
All photos from Shakespeare’s England.
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